Laurie Brinklow

Living at Sea Level

Born without the ocean at my feet,
this living at sea level scares me.

I am used to thin air,
wraparound sky so close you
scrape it with your fingernail, jagged
peaks on the horizon my comfort zone, narrowing
my view.

My friend Libby sees a mountain
and is compelled to climb it,
just to see what’s on the other side.
I see a mountain and I soar on the updraft
swoop on the down
til I’m smack in the middle
of the palm of the valley
where dawn takes longer to get to
and day is quicker to leave.

There the edges are blurred,
a not knowing
where your land ends and
mine begins.

Here, at sea level, it’s pruned and edged
steadfast and bound by
the prairie of ocean,
limits constant, inevitable.

But it is only here, colouring in the lines
that bind me to this place
that my edges are defined.

I’m getting used to sleeping
with the roar of the ocean in my ears.

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